CU soccer 2016 spring results
April 3: CU 1, Air Force 0. CU goal — Erin Greening (Joss Orejel).
April 3: CU 1, Northern Colorado 1. CU goal — Danica Evans (Kahlia Hogg).
April 9: CU 2, DU 1. CU goals — Greening (Evans); Greening (unassisted).
April 9: CU 1, Colorado College 0. CU goal — Sarah Kinzner (Stephanie Zuniga).
April 23: CU 3, Nebraska 1. CU goals — Evans (unassisted); Zuniga (Evans); Zuniga (Alex Huynh).
April 24: CU 1, South Dakota State 1. CU goal — Orejel (unassisted).
The ledger indicates the Colorado Buffaloes soccer team went unbeaten during its spring slate.
Yet success in the offseason is less about wins and losses than focusing on fundamentals, lineup combinations and cohesion. And for a team coming off a disappointing 2016 campaign, head coach Danny Sanchez was far more pleased with the effort he saw out of his Buffs than the 4-0-2 mark the club compiled during the spring slate.
"Every coach in the country says it's about development, but at the end of the day when you put the uniforms on and get referees and you keep score, it's hard to not play to win," Sanchez said. "But we moved some people around. We had some thin numbers, so I was really pleased that the players were able to battle until the end and compete.
"I think it was a productive spring. I don't read too much into (the record) but I thought there were some individual players who definitely did some nice things that hopefully can carry over into the fall."
Erin Greening led the Buffs with three goals during the 4-0-2 spring schedule, and Sanchez reserved particular praise for senior-to-be Danica Evans.
After transferring from Portland, Evans enjoyed a hot start last fall with the Buffs before tailing off alongside the rest of the team, ultimately finishing in a share for the team lead with five goals while adding three assists. This spring, Evans tallied a pair of goals and also was the only CU player to notch two assists.
A back line that often proved to be the Buffs' Achilles heel last fall spent the spring adjusting to the loss of seniors Heather Ward and Madi Krauser. Reinforcements seemingly have been found already in Kahlia Hogg, who missed last season due to an injury, and Alex Vidger.
Vidger spent most of her freshman season last fall shuttling between roles while appearing in 17 games. Expect Vidger to be one of the anchors in the middle of the CU defense in the fall.
"Danica Evans, I think she had an up-and-down junior season but I think she's going to have a breakout senior year," Sanchez said. "Her fitness has improved and I think she's more comfortable now. In the midfield I thought Sarah Kinzner and Morgan Stanton both did very well and I think they'll both have better seasons next year.
"In the back, I think Alex Vidger is continuing to establish herself after she was kind of moved around a lot in the fall. Going forward, she will be a center back for us."